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Audi RS3 (2012) gets extended production run

Thu, 19 Jul 2012

Audi's RS3 hot hatch is back from the dead. The 335bhp quattro Sportback's initial production run was limited to 500 cars for right-hand drive, but pent up demand has convinced Audi to build another 250.   

You'll have to be quick though: the first batch sold out in just days after the car's Geneva motor show reveal, without ever officially going on sale. The second run will also cost £39,930.

Remind me of the Audi RS3's spec

All the numbers are the same as the first 500 cars'. That means standard quattro drive, a 2.5-litre turbocharged five-cylinder engine good for 335bhp and 332lb ft, and a seven-speed S-tronic dual-clutch transmission.

Audi claims the RS3 will hit 62mph in 4.6sec, with its top speed electronically castrated at 155mph. The offical economy figure is 31mpg, but CAR's long-termer rarely got close to that when we ran one earlier this year.

Carbon fibre panels and 19-inch alloy wheel rims (mercifully available in grey, as well as two-tone red/black) are the other main goodies setting the RS car apart from lesser A3s.

What are the RS3's main rivals?

The German hot hatch class is a hotly contested area right now. BMW has released its 316bhp M135i, which as an RS3-rivalling five-door costs from £30,585 - nearly £10k less than the Audi. It's 19bhp down on the quattro, though.

Also on the horizon is Mercedes' hottest A-class: the A45 AMG. Set to feature a turbocharged 2.0-litre and all-wheel-drive, the auto-only AMG Mercedes will be the closest in spirit to the RS3, which should make for quite a hot hatch group test when Teutonic trio meet.

By Ollie Kew